20 Years Ago Today


I started working as a pediatrician at Skagit Valley Medical Center in Mount Vernon, WA.


There I worked with great people

DCF 1.0



In 2008 I became a pediatric hospitalist and began working at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland and Providence Hospital in Everett.  I worked with amazing people at these facilities as well.

Prov rap

Last December I became fulltime as a pediatric hospitalist at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon again.  Now I am working with several of the people I was with before 2008.

In these 20 years I have met amazing families and kids.  I have dealt with incredible sadness as well as happiness.  And despite my occasional grumblings I cannot imagine another “day job” for me.  And twenty years has gone by very quickly.

Now back to farming!

Posted in Farm | Leave a comment

Burnt Cabin

Here are photos that Tom took this weekend helping my father clean up the debris after the fire at the cabin.  Compare these photos to those of the previous slideshow to see what it looked like before the fire came through.  The first photo is the start of the fire at the bottom of the mountain on the way up to the cabin.

fire line

The only things that survived at the cabin were the swing and the small windmill.



This is a photo of the foundation of the cabin.  It is weakened by the heat and not usable again.

cabin foundation

This is what is left of the wood stove and pipe.


Here is the remains of a small shed near the storage containers.

shed near containers

This is the inside of one of the containers.  This is where my father kept his motorcycles, quads and snowmobiles.

inside container

This is the molten aluminum coming out of the container.

molten aluminumHere are two of the quads.  It is incredible the heat that must have been produced to cause this much damage.


Here is a view of the remains of the quads, motorcycles and snowmobiles pulled up to where the cabin was to get ready for disposal.

quads snowmobiles and motorcycles

This is the view of the front of what was the cabin with the pile of rubble.  The fire pit survived.  The shed that help the firewood is destroyed but barely standing.



This is the Christmas tree.  The tree guys who came by today said it will die.

christmas tree1

christmas tree1

This is the remains of the castle.



This is the remains of the trailer with the deck.

trailer with deck

This is the new view from what was the cabin.

view now

And this is the corner of Robbins and Snag Canyon Roads.  This is in the heart of the fire.  It is about 1/4 mile from my father’s cabin.

robbins and snag canyon


Posted in Farm | 4 Comments

It is Always Something*

I am working more night shifts to make up for missing work from the various summer catastrophes this year.  And Tom is away helping my father clean up from the cabin fire.  So the plan was for me to get home from work, quickly get the chores done, and go to bed.

I went to the barn to start feeding critters, and I heard an unusual chirping sound.  Now there is a lot of chirping in the barn now with chicks of various kinds, and this did not sound like a “chirp of distress” so I initially ignored it.  Until I looked in front of the barn and saw:

chicksNow what do I do?  So I slowly chased them back into the barn, opened the door to the chicken pen and shushed them in there.  I got a chick waterer and feeder filled and put them in there as well.  I have no idea where she hatched these chicks at.  Here they are in their new home:

chicks in pen

The next step was to figure out how to get a bale of hay out to the herds since Tom had the quad and all of the carts are dead right now.  With our drought we are having to feed hay this summer.  I picked the least decrepit cart, got a bale of hay in it and headed out to their pastures.  When I got there I saw a piece of wire hanging on the back legs of our llama Fancy.  It had obviously been there a little while since there was a lot of tufts of brown wool on it.

llama with wire

So what to do?  Fancy is the craziest llama we have ever had, I was alone, and she was in a large field.  The wire did not seem to be slowing her down much.  But I did manage to remove it from her.  Fortunately it was a loose piece of woven wire fencing and not barbed wire so it came out easily.

Next I went to water the flock.  Their water trough has been empty the last two morning so unless they have more than tripled their water intake, there must be a leak.  I looked hard for a leak and could not find one.  So against all reasoning I just simple filled it up again and will see what happens.

Then I went to feed the cows and rams.  And I found this:

Jocko with broken horn

So what to do?  His horn was barely connected, there were flies buzzing around it, and Jocko was in a large field with hungry cows and other rams.  So I distracted the hungry ones with hay and some grain and managed to get Jocko’s attention with a bucket of grain, and he followed me out of the field.  I had to move him through the skinny sheep and goats to get him into the barn but no breeding happened en route.  I put him in a pen, the horn fell off, and I treated it with Blue Kote and Catron IV.  If anyone else has suggestions for this let me know.  I got hay, water and mineral salt for him.  I am surprised he is still alive after this.  Tom had just agreed to let me breed him one more time so I need him to hang in there until the fall.

The last problem of the morning is that there are 12 pounds of cucumbers in our fridge, leftover from the farmers’ market.  I decided to make bread and butter pickles with them.  So I sliced them with onion, put salt and ice on them and let them sit.  I will take a nap and can them this evening.

Farm problem solving is through for the day (hopefully).


* Immortal words of Gilda Radner


Posted in Farm | Leave a comment